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Constitutional Exposure: A Postulation for Democracy to Come

Pablo Ghetti
Brazilian diplomat and former lecturer in law (University of Exeter)

B & W 229 x 152 mm | Perfect Bound on White w/Matte Laminate | 226 pages | Paperback ISBN 978-1-910761-04-5 | E-book (PDF) ISBN N/A | 28 August 2017

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Constitutional Exposure identifies and then builds on the principal postulation in Jacques Derrida’s discourse on ‘democracy to come.’ First, Pablo Ghetti argues that Derrida’s key postulation in democracy to come lies in what is termed ‘constitutional exposure,’ i.e. exposure of the ‘constitutional’ experience of law (constitution–ruin, visibility–invisibility, friendship–enmity, universality–singularity). Second, he intensifies Derrida’s discourse by further addressing both law and the ‘to come.’

There are two obstacles to Derrida’s constitutional exposure: his understanding of juridical law [droit] and the ‘to come’ as opposed to justice and sovereignty, respectively. As in democracy per se, what is needed of law and ‘to come’ is to insist upon ‘their’ exposure. Democracy ‘to come’ is a postulation that still has a ‘to come’ ultimately towards an overexposure as a radical democratic postulation with and beyond Derrida. Such a beyond is thought from within Derrida’s work and his sources, but also through critical legal thought, radical democratic theory, post-Marxism, and the philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy. Working towards a more equal and fuller enjoyment of democracy and the exposed constitution of law, this book crafts various strategies and develops a language through which constitutional settings can be further studied and critiqued, and through which their democratic core can be defended and enhanced.

Democracy to come is still a postulation to come. This is to say there is a future to politics, but not the one expected by pundits, bureaucrats, and centrist politicians whose enjoyment depends on the preservation of the same for the few and the mortifying repetition of suffering for the many. In contrast, as Pablo Ghetti demonstrates in this inspiring intensification of Derrida’s early engagement with democracy, the future of democracy passes through an opening to social critique and exposure to political action. The result is not the Derrida his hagiographers think they know, but one whose iteration calls forth new and powerfully subversive meanings beyond the self-preserving predictions of constitutional and political conventional systems.

— Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera (Reader in Law, Birkbeck College)

table of contents



‘Democracy to Come’ Comes to Light
Democracy Today
Democracy and ‘to Come’ with(out) Europe
An Institution to Come
Common Sense: Irruptions
Common Sense


Ruins of Law
Democratic Licence
Forces: Sovereign, Democratic, Deconstructive
Sovereignty and Democracy
Force of Deconstruction
Inviting the Exposure of Dominant Discourses
Autonomy and Autoimmunity
Democratic Autoimmunity

Ch. 3/ LAW

Derrida’s Law
Beyond Strict Law
Strategic Predicament
From Acknowledgment to Exposure
Excursus I: Composing Rights
Excursus II: Right Carnival of Democracy

Ch. 4/ ‘TO COME’

Future and ‘to Come’
Two Unconditionalities
Sovereignty and Unconditionality
Towards Another ‘to Come’
Encountering Fears


Law and Constitutionality
‘To Come’




author bio

Pablo Ghetti, PhD, is a Brazilian diplomat and former lecturer in law (University of Exeter). He has taught Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law and Public International Law in the UK and Brazil. He is currently based in Geneva, posted at the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN. As a diplomat, he has held the positions of Chief of the Political Section at the Brazilian Embassies in Damascus, 2011–12 (until evacuation to Beirut), and Rabat, 2012–15. In Brasilia, he served in the Middle Eastern and in the Central Asian Affairs Divisions of the Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs. Pablo Ghetti also acted as clerk to the Labour Prosecutor’s Office and as titular counselor at the High Council of UERJ (University of the State of Rio de Janeiro).

how to cite

Example using Chicago Manual of Style:


Pablo Ghetti, Constitutional Exposure: A Postulation for Democracy to Come (Oxford: Counterpress 2017).


Ghetti, Pablo. Constitutional Exposure: A Postulation for Democracy to Come. Oxford: Counterpress, 2017.